Sacred Heart Greenwich Eighth Grade Visits Washington, DC

Sacred Heart Greenwich Eighth Grade Visits Washington, DC

Sacred Heart Greenwich eighth graders were recently immersed into a whirlwind of American history and culture over the course of a dynamic visit to Washington, DC. This visit is a beloved and much anticipated highlight of the eighth grade curriculum, and this year’s trip offered students the chance to make tangible connections to their classroom learning, while strengthening the bonds of friendship between classmates and sharing lasting memories. Before embarking on their travels, students thoroughly prepared by researching many of the locations and institutions they would soon visit. Building this prior knowledge was an important step in maximizing the learning opportunities of this trip. “There is tremendous value in exposing students to the sights and sounds of our nation’s history,” writes Kelly Bridges, eighth grade history teacher. “And I can think of no better way to do this than to visit the many wonderful museums, monuments, and memorials in our nation’s capital.” 

Students’ first day in the nation’s capital kicked off with an exploration of the National Museum of Natural History, where students marveled at the wonders of our planet's biodiversity.  Next, a poignant visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture offered a deep dive into the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout history. The day continued with a walk to the White House and visits to the capital’s important memorials, including the FDR Memorial, the Korean conflict Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and culminating at the Jefferson Memorial. Students also enjoyed a guided tour of the Vietnam Memorial. Overall, students and faculty clocked around 22,000 steps and left few stones unturned in their DC adventure. 

The next day brought students and chaperones to the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress,  and the Holocaust Museum, where history came alive through immersive exhibits and engaging narratives. Following this, students made  a meaningful visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where the group was  fortunate enough to witness the changing of the guard and a wreath-laying ceremony. Their final stop was the Iwo Jima statue at the Marine Corps Memorial. 

The day concluded with a visit to the Kennedy Center to enjoy the interactive comedy, "Shear Madness," before indulging in a sweet treat of ice cream to cap off their adventure. 

On their final day, students and faculty toured  Georgetown University and the United States Naval Academy, where students met current student, and Sacred Heart Greenwich alumna, Ursula Wise. 

Experiential learning opportunities such as these play a crucial role in enhancing students' understanding of the past, fostering empathy, and inspiring a deeper connection to the world around them. Mary Frederick, Head of Middle School, writes, “As I observed the students during their visits to the African American Museum, Holocaust Museum, and Arlington National Cemetery, I couldn't help but be struck by their profound empathy and insatiable thirst for knowledge. Their thoughtful questions and respectful behavior exemplify not only a keen understanding of the past, but also a strong sense of leadership towards shaping a better future. In their inquiries and actions, our girls demonstrate a commitment to learning from history and actively working towards positive change in our world.” 

Please click here to view photos from the trip!